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Dover’s Early End ? Growth Up - Army Deserter - Ccormick Off Air - Murderous Attack – Chandra-Hills Death - Child Abuse Reporting – Sex Harresment - Pyschiatric Patient Battle - Rings Piracy

DOVER’S EARLY END? -Minister Helen Clark has signalled the end to Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels' career in the cabinet, questioning whether he can be an effective minister after the allegations made against him. Having first said he would stay if no illegality was found by police, she set a more difficult test to his future last night in what is a key portfolio for the Government. She said that on reflection it was not just about illegality. For a link to the full story click here.

GROWTH UP: WELLINGTON - A surge in exports this year - on top of rip-roaring growth in the second half of 1999 - has given the economy its best annual expansion since the 1995 boom. Figures released yesterday show the economy grew 0.8 per cent in the first three months of the year and 4.4 per cent for the year to March 31.

ARMY DESERTER: Pedro van der Ent was celebrating a small victory last night after being snatched by the Army from his corporate job and held as a deserter. A High Court judge freed him from military house arrest to await a court martial on the desertion charges.

MCCORMICK OFF AIR: Gary McCormick's new show has been pulled off air by TVNZ after just two weeks. The star of McCormick Rips - which received more than $650,000 in public money - is dismayed by the decision of television chiefs, who say the show needs "re-tooling."

MURDEROUS ATTACK: Eleven-month-old Marcus McCarthy and his little playmate Georgina Roe were spattered with blood as Joanne McCarthy vainly fought off a murderous attack in her home. Despite her resistance, the 33-year-old mother was unable to save her life as hammer blows rained down on her, a jury at the High Court in Auckland was told yesterday.

CHANDRA HILL DEATH: The death of another child has again exposed poor communication between agencies helping to care for at-risk children. Ben Chandra-Hills, aged 10, died at home in Auckland in April after an epileptic seizure.

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING: James Whakaruru's death has brought calls for mandatory reporting of child abuse to become law. The calls follow Sunday's release of a damning report by the Commissioner for Children, Roger McClay, which details how Government, health and welfare agencies failed the youngster.

SEX HARRESMENT: A top young Tongan rugby player facing sexual harassment allegations will miss the rest of the world under-21 tournament in New Zealand. However, team captain Lotu Filipine will be allowed to represent his country again.

PYSCHIATRIC PATIENT BATTLE: The next steps in a High Court battle over whether a dangerous psychiatric patient should be released are likely to start tomorrow. Mental health officials last week won their immediate fight to stop the patient - who once doused his partner in petrol and set her alight - from being released yesterday.

RINGS PIRACY: A one-month probe into claims of movie piracy on the set of the mega-trilogy Lord of the Rings has ended with the arrest of an Auckland crew member. The 36-year-old has been charged with making a VHS copy of film footage, money-laundering, fraudulently dealing with a film and theft as a servant of two video cassettes.

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